Just days after the CALFit fitness facility closed temporarily after being issued a cease and desist order from the City of Manteca, another gym has closed its doors for good.
Last week 24 Hour Fitness, the San Ramon-based fitness giant that has been operating in Manteca for more than two decades in a converted facility that was previously a Safeway grocery store, declared bankruptcy after months of being closed forced the company to reexamine its finances and try and weather the storm that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the business community.
The company will close more than 100 of its locations including the Manteca site on North Main Street. The move represents a shuttering of roughly one-quarter of the company’s active gyms across the country.
And it all has to the economic impacts of the virus.
“If it were not for COVID-19 and its devastating effects, we would not be filing for Chapter 11,” company CEO Tony Ueber said in a statement. “We expect to have substantial financing with a path to restructuring our balance sheet and operations to ensure a resilient future.”
Based on publicly available information from within the last three years, the company had 420 locations and more than 22,000 employees across 13 states – making it one of the largest health and fitness companies in the country.
One of its competitors, the Texas-based Gold’s Gym, announced last month that it would be filing for bankruptcy protection and would close its company-owned stores which account for roughly 10 percent of the total number of Gold’s Gym locations across the country.
Longtime 24 Hour Fitness members were dismayed about the news when it broke over the weekend and are trying to figure out whether they’ll be refunded for recent payments – a harsh blow after waiting for what they expected to be a return to their fitness lives.
“We all thought that it was going to open back up soon and I was really excited about going back to see all of my friends,” said Jake Sanchez. “I just reupped for a year before all of this happened, so now it’s just trying to find out whether I get that money back so I can go somewhere else.
“It’s just not what I expected. It’s sad – a lot of people are going to miss that place.”
While other local gyms at one time offered a wider range of athletic options such as basketball, Manteca’s 24 Hour Fitness was known as the only fitness facility in town that had a full-court basketball court and eventually the only indoor court of any kind when other properties began removing courts to make more room for weights and machines as membership grew.
It wasn’t at all uncommon for high school basketball players to meet at the facility for pickup games and workouts when out of season, something that Sanchez said he always liked to see – an element that helped created a sense of community among those that chose to work out there.
CALFit on Main Street – the only independent full-service gym in town – was issued a cease and desist letter from the City of Manteca for violating the city’s COVID restrictions by opening before they were authorized.
The announcement of the violation, which came just as other gym facilities were gearing up for reopening but were then told by San Joaquin County Health officials they could not, incensed local residents who felt that the gym was unfairly targeted. While they had taken steps to protect patrons and staff and disinfect the facility, the business chose to close to prevent any other infractions that could only further hurt the business.
InShape had been planning to reopen Manteca locations today on the hopes county Public Health Officer Dr. Maggie Park would do so after Gov. Gavin Newsom gave counties the option to reopen gyms.
While 24 Hour Fitness announced the closures of its properties already – which include locations in Manteca and Stockton – there has been no indication about what will happen with the Manteca facility itself which has been retrofitted specifically for gym usage.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.